Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Back on the big Loch

Scott and I schedules managed to coincide for once and we arranged to meet up and head west to the big loch. I was on a mission to try some new lures and Scott was still chasing the elusive Ruffe.
An early start had us by the pier at the loch by 9am only to find the pier under  a foot of water! Luckily we had our waders on and Scott had extending legs on his seatbox so we set up in the wet on the pier.While we were setting up another angler joined us from his nearby camper van, it turns out we had talked via email about dropshotting, indeed he had caught some fine perch the day before and was looking forward to another crack at them.
We all quickly set up our gear and I went with my standard dropshot rig, 8lb fluro leader, #8 hook ,7g weight and I rigged a Lake Fork Live baby shad on the hook. Scott set up with maggot feeder tactics and was into roach within about 5 minutes.

Scott displays another nice roach

After about 25 minutes I still hadn't had a bite so I decided to swap lures and rigged up a 4" Z -Man Finesse Shadz in pearl white.
I hadn't had a chance to try the lure before so I was surprised at how good it looked when worked on a dropshot rig. Due to the buoyant nature of the lure I could really get the lure to shiver and shake with tiny twitches of the rod.
I began to work the same areas as before concentrating on the steep shelf into deeper water. I was concentrating on feeling the weight bumbling along the bottom as it followed the shelf up to shallower water when suddenly I felt nothing. A couple of turns of the handle and a flick of the wrist set the hook into a fish that had taken the lure and swam towards me, which was why I felt the absence of weight on the line. As I set the hooks the fish powered back down the shelf and I instantly knew it was a pike. I held the fish letting the rod do the work and it quickly suppressed the feisty jack with its fighting curve. As the pike rose up through the murky depths Scott readied the net  and I guided the pike into it.
It was a nice looking fish of around 3 to 4lb and while not a big fish for a pike it was great fun to catch on my light tackle. The last fish I had caught had been a blenny so it was very satisfying to catch a fish that was capable of putting a good bend in the rod.
I unhooked the fish and Scott helped me grab a couple of trophy shots before releasing the pike back to terrorise the local roach population.

Drop shotting a ZMan Finnesse shadZ did for this pike.

I carried on fishing , working various lures all around the area but the only action was coming from Scott and his never ending stream of pristine roach. The hours passed and the cold really started to hamper my fishing, luckily Jim magically produced some cups of tea followed by the worlds greatest bacon roll which manged to revive me somewhat. The weather grew darker and still us hardy dropshotters continued to blank.
Scott was still catching roach when he gave a shout and I looked to see his feeder rod with a good bend in it. Could the perch be making an appearance? As the fish rose up in the water I readied the net and was surprised to see a big Powan slipping into the welcoming landing net.
Scott was rather pleased with this lovely fish and quite rightly too, although we found it quite amusing that he had been trying to target one of the most prolific species in the loch only to catch one of the rarest!

Scott manged to catch a rare Powan,a nice size too!

Soon it had grown too dark too fish so we began to pack up, it had been a tough day for us all which really made me appreciate my solitary jack even more. As we drove back with the heater on full blast and the feeling returned to my extremities I couldn't help but feel excited for my next trip back to the big loch. I hope I can get back soon!
Tight Lines

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

2014 Ready, Steady, Blenny!

Mid way through January time off work and a break in the weather finally coincided and after weeks of no fishing I grabbed the opportunity with both rods. I gave Ritchie a ring and arranged to meet to up as he was equally keen to get out.
I blatted down the A1 full of hope and excitement, it had been ages since I was able to fish and I couldn't wait to get to the sea. I knew conditions weren't ideal for the mark with a neap tide but the surf forecast had at least said the sea would be flat.
On arrival I feverishly scrabbled my Bass and LRF gear together and set off down to the shore.
As I got closer It became apparent that the surf forecast was wrong as there was a huge rolling swell smashing over the reef. This, coupled with the horrible grey cloudy water, meant that I was on a loser from the off. I fished all around the normal areas but after 2 or 3 hours of nothing I switched my attentions to the gulleys and rockpools with predictable results.

Blennys, blennys and more blennys.

Up close blennys can be quite colourful
Gulp Sandworm and a #8 Shirasu jighead caught blenny...
after blenny...

Ritchie too had also succumbed to the temptation and enjoyed teasing the little blighters into attack mode. We messed about for another 1/2 hour before calling it a day and we trudged rather disconsolately back to the car.
The blennys provided some much needed light relief and they seem to be my traditional first fish of the year, although I was really hoping for something silver and spiky. Still its good to be back out and I hope that the next time I hit the mark I can combine a better tide with some better weather and find those bass again.
Tight Lines